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UN Silent on DRC Pardon Request as Moland Dies in Jail, Somaliland News

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, August 19 -- Not only will this UN never say it's sorry, for example for bringing cholera to Haiti, it won't comment on others' requests for pardon either.

  Inner City Press has twice asked UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesperson's office about Congolese legislator Muhindo Nzangi, who was arrested then quickly sentenced to three years in jail for insulting President Joseph Kabila on a Kivu radio station. The most recent answer, on August 15, was that Ban never comments on judgments by independent courts.

  If true - it seems not to be - perhaps Ban should reconsider, as least as to the DRC. While many prisoners die in Congolese jails, Western wire services have covered the death in custody of Norwegian Tjostolv Moland, at 32 years old, after unsuccessfully asking Kabila for a pardon.

  Since under Ban and Herve Ladsous the UN is now committed to trying to "neutralize" any opposition group which Kabila doesn't like, international publicity about deaths in Kabila's jail might be a problem. But Ban is going to South Korea, and Ladsous has been missing for a while.

Some good news, for once: from Somaliland, Free UN Coalition for Access member Mohamoud Walaaleye tells us that the ban then threats against Hubaal newspaper have been removed. We have a copy of the pardon but are not yet sure if it's also an apology. But in any event, it's more than this UN does. Watch this site.


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